Freemium social games are all well and good, but a number of them are decidedly lacking in certain places. Namely in action. That’s probably why it’s so easy to take notice when companies like Pangalore announce a game like Knightly Adventure.
Knightly Adventure is indeed a social game, and it does indeed possess a bunch of typical fantasy RPG elements; stuff like medieval kingdoms, quests, hostile monsters, colorful storybook-like graphics, and so on. But while it adheres to many freemium norms, it also attempts to deviate in that one key area. Amidst all the kingdom building, character customizing, friend gathering, and so on is a much more interactive action RPG approach to the quests. With the option of choosing between four character classes (swordsman, wizard, bowman, or knight) available to further sweeten the deal.
This free-to-play cross-platform (mobile, tablet, or Facebook) super-hyphenated fantasy adventure will be setting up shop in the App Store sometime next month. Presumably and preferably soon.
Brewster has less to do with drinking beer than the name suggests. It could make it a heck of a lot easier to arrange meeting up with friends, however.
The app offers a personalized address book experience. Appreciating that everyone is involved with numerous different social networks, Brewster brings everything together to create a personalized and merged view of your contacts.
Working in conjunction with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Gmail, Foursquare and the iPhone Contacts list, Brewster adds images to every contact, while also providing updates and trends, job changes, house moves, and everything else anyone could ever want from such a consolidated service. It’ll even figure out mutual connections which can uncover some surprising results.
Lists ensure that nothing feels too overwhelming, with a favorites list for extra organization. Throughout the app, everything about Brewster is stylish and intuitive to use.
A lot of people enjoy Scrabble. Like a lot. But while the current official iOS rendition is doing okay, it’s been in need of a little tweaking for a while. Well the time for tweaking is nigh.
The list of changes includes a much-improved user interface that not only looks nice but makes setting up matches and finding friends a lot easier. In fact, it makes the act of setting up a game into about as painless a process as I’ve seen yet. The chat features have also been updated, and even include some pretty wacky emoticons. There’s also a rather handy new feature that will allow players to see what other words they might have made with their letters after (emphasis on after) their turn is submitted, which should help to even out the playing field a little for the less spell-savvy while still keeping things fair during multiplayer matches.
However, the most exciting change by far has got to be the cross-platform integration. The Facebook rendition is already available, but once the iOS and Android updates are ready to roll out players will be able to get their spell on across all three platforms. This means PC/Mac users can play against iOS/Android users, and that one user’s account can span multiple devices. So one could play a few rounds on their mobile device, then come home and continue the game on the computer via Facebook. Effectively, just about anyone will be able to play Scrabble with just about anyone else just about anywhere.
Scrabble is already available and is free, but these changes won’t hit until sometime this summer. Do any of these changes have you current players excited? Then chime in below!
Many people have privacy concerns when it comes to social networks such as Facebook, understandably so, especially when dealing with images of family members such as children.
Burst is the latest app hoping to encourage users away from bigger networks, with a focus on sharing just with close friends and family. The app requires just one touch to capture then store and organize mobile videos and photos. It’s then simple to share such moments with the special people in one’s life.
Burst can tag and title those moments along with information from the user’s calendar with everything securely stored in the cloud.
Users can restrict who views the content and be notified via Push notifications, email or SMS when a family member comments on the images.
For those looking for a more secure social networking app, Burst will prove invaluable.
I covered a social trivia game a couple months ago named TriviaPad. That particular game provided a trivia experience on the iPad only. A new trivia game, Trivie, has recently been released that provides a social trivia experience on the iPhone (and is playable on the iPad). Players can play Trivie with their friends by challenging them over Facebook, by contact list, or by username.
The asynchronous system for multiplayer games has become the go-to method for playing games with friends. Like most of those games, Trivie gives players a push notification when their friend has completed their turn and it’s then their turn to participate. Trivie is built to look and feel like a game show (reminding me slightly of my favorite game show-like trivia game, You Don’t Know Jack).
The game has over 75,000 questions in over 60 categories. The game also users slot machine mechanics and wagering to add to that game show feel. Trivie may also have real-time multiplayer in the future; the MMO infrastructure has already been built to handle it.
Insanely popular and recently Zynga-purchased game, Draw Something, has updated with many features that fans have been asking for since the app released back in February. Features to get excited about include Say Something!, Share Something!, and Save Something!
Say Something! allows players to comment on each other drawings. This adds a sort of chat system to the game that lets players tell them what they thought of each others drawings. Share Something! lets players share their favorite drawing to Facebook and Twitter for their friends’ amusement. Right after a drawing is finished, a Facebook and Twitter button becomes readily available for users to press and instantly share with their friends.
And Save Something!, probably the most desired feature from people I’ve talked to, gives users the ability to save drawings to the iOS device’s camera roll. In the same screen that displays the social networking sharing buttons, a save to device button is presented. It’s an easy way to save those special drawings players spent their valuable minutes on. Sharing options from the camera roll then become limitless.
Other features include Undo Something! and Refresh Something!, adding the ability to undo the last line and refresh game updates by pulling the list down. More updates are sure to come soon.
Gameloft has released a new game based on the Ice Age franchise, with Ice Age Village. As the title somewhat implies, this is a simulation/social game, where players must try to build a home for all the ice-dwelling creatures that the movie series is known for. Not only do players try to complete missions, sidequests, and daily challenges by building up their village and visiting friends’ villages, but they can also play mini-games featuring series main character Scrat. Villages can be shared either through Gameloft Live, or through Facebook. The game also boasts sneak peeks of the upcoming movie Ice Age: Continental Drift, which is sure to be hot! I apologize for the cheap pun.
This game explains why the Two Tribes-developed Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs game was pulled from the App Store; Chillingo lost the license to the property as Gameloft acquired it. While some gamers may grumble, fans of the Ice Age franchise may find this social game up their alley. It’s available now as a free to play universal app.
All things considered, it’s a little odd how much of a phenomenon the social farm sim has become. Farming in real life is such a boring, tedious process and yet millions of people are spending loads of time and money doing it virtually. Com2us is hoping to plant some more excitement in those people’s lives with their new game Magic Tree.
Magic Tree’s gameplay consists of the same kind of seed gathering and crop harvesting one would expect from the genre. However, everything has been given a fantasy twist. Furthermore, the visuals are all rendered in full, colorful 3D that brings life to the fields, forests and animals. Besides farming, players can also raise pets, build beauty salons, go on rides, cook gourmet meals and defend their homes from invading creatures.
Magic Tree looks to offer a more fantastical farming experience. The game is available now for free on the App Store.
GREE’s push into the US continues with a new game, Alien Family. This is the second GREE-developed title for the US, after last week’s Zombie Jombie. GREE claims that where Zombie Jombie was aimed more at a core gamer crowd, Alien Family is intended more for a casual crowd.
Players build a village of aliens on Earth, bringing in a variety of colorful aliens to live in their village. They do this by building homes and facilities, farming for resources, and exploring for new aliens. Players will send off UFOs that will bring in new aliens, that they can then power up using the Fuse Machine to send them off to explore for new aliens, in order to help create the best alien village possible.
Zombie Jombie had a solid launch for GREE, reaching #9 on the top free games chart, and #37 on the top grossing chart. Despite being new to the market, their promotional methods appear to be already in high gear, and with a more casual title, those numbers could increase. Alien Family is available now.
It is funny how once someone cracks midlife, suddenly their calendar becomes a constant companion. Thankfully the age of smartphone has made keeping track of life’s goings-on so much easier. But what if you were a person that wanted to share meetings, events and plans with others? Thankfully the tool UpTo can help bring the worlds of scheduling and social interaction together.
Integrating into your existing calendar software of choice, UpTo allows users to share events, view friends’ schedules, even seamlessly tie into Twitter and Facebook. All users need to do is fill their contact list with co-workers and friends to communicate, and suddenly the app becomes a social Swiss Army Knife that you can’t afford to go without. As an icing on the cake, the software is a completely free download in the App Store, so what are you waiting for? Be sure to share your hands-on impressions in the comments.
Clearly, Appy Entertainment decided what was there wasn’t enough as a new update has been recently released for SpellCraft School of Magic which adds plenty of new things to the social RPG.
First up, the difficulty level has been adjusted to make things a little smoother for many. Harvesting gold is made easier through the new plant, Goldberry, while new healing spells, Healing Touch, Rejuvenation, Renew, help make staying alive that touch simpler!
For the customization addict, new robes and hats in the form of the Bone Robe and the Stormchaser Robe, plus the new and impressive Lifedrinker Wand.
It’s a hefty update that makes now the perfect time to return to SpellCraft School of Magic or discover it for the first time. Check out the artwork below for a sign of what’s available in this new update.
LoSo, a location-based restaurant and bars app which bills itself as a combination of FourSquare and Yelp, has announced a complete redesign as part of the version 2.0 update. New features include user profiles, as well as a real-time news feed linked to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The most significant new addition is the What’s Up! feature, which allows users to take photos or videos of local bars and restaurants and instantly upload them to your Facebook page, the restaurant’s Facebook page, and LoSo‘s listings. The app also allows users to check out menus, drink specials and happy hour deals of all participating businesses within 10 miles of their current location. Checking in at participating businesses grants QRewards Points, which can be redeemed for free food and drinks, as well as other prizes.
LoSo is currently testing in the Philadelphia and Boston markets, and will be expanding to Washington D.C, Chicago and Dallas soon.
On Twitter, it’s a dilemma that would be referred to as a ‘first world problem’ but it is sometimes difficult to decide which restaurant to go to for a meal. So many choices are out there and when it’s a decision that has to be made between many friends, things can get tricky. Enter Hngry, an app that may lack an ‘u’ but certainly doesn’t lack functionality.
At its most basic, Hngry lists all the restaurants that are nearby to the user’s location, along with the ability to add opening hours, all in an attractive manner. Users can then choose from the list and flick through the selection, gradually narrowing down the selection before coming to a decision. For those with iPhone owning friends, they can share lists directly on individual devices using the Hngry app. The app can even find menu details for any restaurant on the list if one is available on the internet.
Once a decision has been made, users can dial the restaurant directly from within the app then Hngry offers a place to store order details for that meal and any helpful notes required. For those with favourite dishes, it makes it all the easier to check what meals were so nice the last time the user visited a place.
There’s even the ability to take photos of a meal as a reminder of what was so tasty and Twitter integration ensures that sociable diners can share their choice.
Throughout, the app keeps track of how many times the user has visited a restaurant, making for an ideal guide at a glance as to what place is best for the user’s tastes.
For those who dine out regularly, Hngry is a great resource that combines many useful meal planning features.
Regardless of the location, there’s bound to be something interesting going on somewhere. AroundNow seeks to provide an easy way of seeing exactly what’s going on locally at any time.
Using Twitter as a notification system, AroundNow offers news of interest depending on the area the user happens to reside in at the time. That news can range from all manners of things from entertainment events such as concerts or celebrity spottings to parties or demonstrations. Traffic information such as road works or traffic jams can also be provided as well as something as regular as a good sale in a local store.
As it’s partly a social networking app, AroundNow relies upon user participation to truly be great but it’s an excellent idea. In a busy and bustling city, it’s easy to miss out on something exciting so this app could be the ideal way to get involved in local events.
Inspired by singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, THQ’sMargaritaville Online is now available on Facebook and iPad. The game invites players to escape to the laid back tropical paradise where margaritas are a plenty, music is chill and adventure is guaranteed. The point of the game is for the player to build their ideal oasis while partying with friends and turning their experience from a game into a lifestyle.
Featuring an immersive 3D world and hits from Buffett himself, players are encouraged to leave their cares behind. And yes, there are frozen concoctions to serve up to friends from the player’s personal island beach bar. Beyond the adult beverages, players can explore all the island has to offer such as meeting and interactive with the natives, finding forgotten treasure, sailing boats and playing mini-games. Basically, the game is all about relaxing and enjoying the sun, surf and sand with a drink in one hand and a six-string in the other. Finding the lost shaker of salt is just a bonus and not required. The game is free to play with optional in-game premium items
Plenty of people love playing social games and similar numbers enjoy caring for a virtual pet. How about combining the two? That’s what LoadComplete decided to do with Bumping Bears and they’ve even added a real life socializing element.
Bumping Bears gives players the chance to adopt bears to play and raise on their own donut planet located in the wider bear galaxy. Players can care for up to 3 bears at once, encouraging them towards one of over 70 bear professions while dressing them from a choice of over 100,000 unique outfit combinations.
The player can then partake in quests, missions and minigames to help their bear improve in their chosen profession.
For the social gamer, players can find other like minded souls using geolocation, then bump their phones together to make their bears date and mate. It’s all very cute and lovable but not essential to progression.
Bumping Bears is out now and it’s an Universal app.
With over 1.8 million reviews with an average of four stars, the Facebook app for iPhone continues to be one of the most popular in the App Store. However, there are a few gripes and groans on the review board in regards to uploading pictures as well as being able to access Timeline, which launched earlier this week globally. The Zuckerberg-run company pushed out their Facebook 4.1 update for iPhone a few days ago to combat some of these issues as well as offer access to friend lists, subscribers and subscriptions.
Overall, the application seems to be faster at executing all the various tasks such as status updates, uploading and tagging photos and zipping through different news feeds. This, I’m sure, is a welcomed update to the 99.5 million monthly active users of the iPhone app. For those interested in the update for iPad, stay tuned as that is still in the works. Hopefully, it’s not a long wait. As for the iPhone update, the most significant update is how quickly photos load. It’s extremely fast, which for most, provides a better user experience as they won’t have to wait those extra seconds. Also, the layout of a friend’s profile is a lot easier to navigate as when clicked the user can now quickly add them to specific friends lists. Their about, photos and friends lists are above the fold for easy access as well. Facebook 4.1 is available for immediate download as a free app update on the iPhone.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted December 14th, 2011 by Rob Rich Our Rating: :: OBEY THE FIST
Ever want to be the overlord of an evil empire? Command droves of loyal henchmen, research all manner of eccentric weaponry and all that? Plan X gives us that very opportunity, along with the chance to extend our influence to real-world locations.
Whether it’s football season or March Madness, it seems like there is always something going on in the world of sports for rabid fans to follow. Luckily for them, the new PlayUp app, “the first social network app for sports fans,” is here to help these people stay connected all through their mobile devices. It’s like having a sports bar anywhere.
PlayUp tracks stats and real-time scores from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS and college football and basketball games. International leagues like the English Premier League Soccer and Australian Rules Football are represented as well. Fans of a particular team can track their progress and interact with other fans in chat rooms while games are on. Soon users will also be able to answer trivia questions and play other games through the app. They have to do something during the off season.
PlayUp is currently available for free on the App Store. It sounds like the next best thing to having a portable tailgate party.